2013 Germany Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: And now we're back to a 34-point gap. And Vettel never would have won if not for the Safety Car. Even when he is not the fastest car, he just goes ahead and increases his points lead.
EVENT: Was it us, or did the local crowd seem less boisterous over their hometown hero than other countries are?
QUALIFYING: This time, Hamilton disappoints the home crowd while his teammate is disappointed by their team.
RACE: Intriguing throughout with a nail biting ending.
TRACK: The first Tilke track. 'Nuf said.
START: Hamilton is too busy playing games, Vettel thrills the hometown crowd, a superb starting alien possesses Webber, and nobody knows what Grosjean was thinking.
VETTEL: Essentially, the two blemishes in his record -- no wins in July and no home GP victory -- are wiped out in fell swoop.
WEBBER: Red Bull's cock-up cost us fans a great opportunity to watch an intra-team battle, as Mark was able to stay within the DRS range.
RED BULL: Conspiracy theorists, go have it...
RAIKKONEN: Just one more lap. Just one more lap. Well, maybe two...
GROSJEAN: As rumblings were heard (again) that Romain would be replaced before the end of the year (again), he goes out and runs a brilliant race (again). In fact, if not for the Safety Car, Romain most probably would have won.
LOTUS: Back in contention. Now, we'll see how the (brand) new tires will affect them.
ALONSO: Their strategy worked. Kind of.
MASSA: Seriously? Did Felipe just spin all on his own in a not very difficult corner? Seriously?
FERRARI: Don't look now, but Lotus is gaining on you.
MERCEDES: Back to destroying the tires during the race after a great qualifying effort.
BUTTON: Never would have predicted sixth for Jenson.
PEREZ: Aggressive as usual. Just waiting for the huge smashup with his teammate...
HULKENBERG: Is Nico in the running for a Ferrari seat? Doubt he'll stay with the near bankrupt Sauber.
RICCIARDO: It's still Kimi's to turn down, but Daniel is now clearly the second choice.
WILLIAMS: Yet another points opportunity slips away. This time on Maldonado's failed tire change.
BOTTAS: Valterri has been quiet lately.
BIANCHI: Now, that's what you call an exploding engine!
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Relief.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 0 -- The number of catastrophic tire failures.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The last time Mercedes won pole position at their home Grand Prix was in 1954. Juan Manuel Fangio did the honors, also at Nürburgring ... the real Nürburgring, the Nordschleife. Thus, the race was "only" 22 laps (increased from the prior year's 18 laps) around the 14.173-mile circuit. Fangio led all the laps to win in 3:45:45.8. Maserati driver Onofre Marimón was killed during practice.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Under the category 'you do understand it's your car and not the tires' Lewis Hamilton once again displays a huge dose of ignorance over the fact the Mercedes is horrible on tires on a track which generates a lot of heat, "I have to hold myself back. I have nothing positive to say about these tires, and I don't understand why we struggled so much on them."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Felipe Massa for the first time professing, in a roundabout way, self doubt over his job, "I have no idea if it will jeopardize my future."
SCHEDULE: Our fear is Pirelli is so gun shy, they are going to design an ultra-conservative tire during this break, since the FIA will pretty much let them do whatever they want, resulting in just one pit stop to meet the regulations. Couple that with notoriously the most boring track, the Hungaroring, and we could be in for an old style borefest.
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